Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What I Read: May 2016

A very ambitious pile

So many 'to-do's' this month, not enough reading time. Sadly, over half of that pile never got digested before having to be returned. But here's what I did read this month:

*The Collapse of Parenting by Dr. Leonard Sax-- Just like all his other books, Sax's latest did not disappoint. His main premise for this book is that in the last 30 years, there has been a transfer of authority from parents to peers, and it's ruining our kids and our culture. He makes really great points, uses stories from his practice to illustrate, and science to back up. I'm definitely the choir here, but if parenting, sociology/cultural trends, and brain science appeals to you at all you'd probably find his books really interesting. 

*Le'ts Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson -- This memoir was laugh out loud funny. She is the female David Sedaris, only way more open about her neurosis. Some of these stories I was laughing so hard I was crying at, but they do come at a cost (think, "I'm so glad I'm not that screwed up") and the way she writes does get a bit draining to read after awhile. She's at times a glutton for witty remarks or puns, when 2 would suffice per sentence. I had to have a few weeks break between this one and the one below, even though they were both very funny. My favorite parts were the re-hashing of conversations between her and her husband. 

*When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi -- This was a beautiful book, a memoir about an award-winning neurosurgeon who develops progressive cancer and dies (not a spoiler) in his 30s. It's nearly poetry, but Kalanithi has been delving deep into classics his whole life and so it's no wonder his language is so highbrow. It's a very tragic book, but if you're a deep thinker, philosopher, or just love 'meaning of life' conversations, this is your book. 

*Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson -- This book is a little bit heavier than her other (Let's Pretend), but it's just as funny, if not more so, because there are so many more chapters that involve her husband, Victor. Victor conversations are gold. This book talks a lot about her mental illness and therefore a bit more on the serious side at times, but still just as laugh-out-loud funny.

Read Aloud to the kids:
*The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder -- This book was looooooooong. It has been the most serious book we've read so far in the Ingalls Wilder series and mostly about a very hard time in the family's life. The Ingalls lived in a house in town and for nearly 7 straight months there were blizzards and frigid temperatures. They'd been warned by a Native American that this winter would be bad, and Pa took it seriously. They couldn't get their supplies in before everything iced over, and the story goes into detail about how lean and dangerous the winter was for them. The kids enjoyed it, as they enjoy nearly 100% of my read-aloud picks, but I'm glad to be moving on to Little Town on the Prairie.

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